COLLEGE PARK, Md. - The University of Maryland has apologized to the family of Jordan McNair, the 19-year-old football player who died following a strenuous offseason workout, and has accepted “legal and moral responsibility” for the mistakes its athletic staff made, officials announced Tuesday.
University of Maryland President Wallace Loh said he personally apologized to the McNair family and said a final report detailing the investigation into the teen’s death would be available by mid-September.
“I made this commitment this morning to the parents, along with athletic director Damon Evans, we both made this commitment, that no Maryland student-athlete will ever be in the situation where his or her life and safety will be at risk, especially when that risk is foreseeable,” Loh stated.
Evans announced that the university had parted ways with strength and conditioning coach Rick Court in connection with their investigation. Evans said a bombshell ESPN report alleging an abusive and toxic cultural played a role cutting ties with Court.
The university also admitted that their response plan for such situations was not followed. Evans said McNair was misdiagnosed by the staff and trainers never took his temperature or administered cold water immersion.
An athletics program spokesman confirmed to FOX 5 Monday evening that team officials called a team physician before calling 911 after McNair fell ill.
McNair was eventually rushed to the hospital from practice on May 29 and later died on June 13. Billy Murphy, an attorney representing the McNair family, said the preliminary death certificate showed "symptoms of heatstroke are present."
Murphy has called for head coach DJ Durkin to be fired after Durkin was placed on paid administrative leave on Saturday. Three others, including Court, were placed on leave the day before.
Murphy said the Prince George's County State's Attorney would determine if a criminal case against Durkin or school officials should be made.
"But a case could be made that this was a grossly negligent homicide,” he said. “Where there was an indifference to human life. Where nobody really gave a damn for this kid and instead ignored his symptoms, ignored the fundamental characteristics of heat stroke and did an overall awful job in attempting to help him.”